Reappraisal of the oldest high-pressure type schist in Japan: New zircon U-Pb age of the Kitomyo Schist of the Kurosegawa Belt


The Kitomyo Schist from Kurosegawa Belt, Shikoku, has been long considered as the oldest records of subduction metamorphism in Japan, based on an early 1970s Ksingle bondAr dating of white mica. The schist consists of mafic and pelitic layers and occurs as a tectonic block within serpentinite. Reappraisal of the schist confirmed the schist is characterized by an epidote-amphibolite peak metamorphic facies. The mafic portion is characterized by zoned amphibole + epidote + chlorite + titanite ± phengite ± rutile. The presences of relict rutile surrounded by titanite and the barroisitic cores of zoned amphibole suggest a high-pressure intermediate type metamorphism at the metamorphic peak (P = ~0.8–1.5 GPa and T = ~500–570 °C). The presence of Mn-rich garnet and the lack of biotite, oligoclase and paragonite also support high-pressure intermediate type metamorphism that eliminate the possibility of a typical blueschist-facies metamorphism. New SHRIMP and LA-ICPMS zircon Usingle bondPb geochronology on a pelitic sample show detrital grains of Mesoproterozoic and Early Paleozoic ages, suggesting a maximum deposition age for the trench-fill sediment of ~440 Ma. Also the Usingle bondPb data confirmed ~360 Ma overgrown rims that might have formed during the subduction zone epidote-amphibolite facies metamorphism. Reappraisal revealed that the Kitomyo Schist is not the oldest high-pressure type schist in Japan and rather comparable to the Late Paleozoic Renge Metamorphic Rocks and their equivalents in the Kurosegawa Belt. The Devono–Carboniferous high-pressure metamorphic rocks in Japan might have been paired with their coeval batholiths along the ‘Greater South China’ margin that was extensively eroded during later tectonic processes.

Lithos, Volumes 380–381, January 2021, 105898; DOI: 10.1016/j.lithos.2020.105898